Railway industry responds to HS2 statement on the Oakervee Review Terms of Reference announced today

21 August 2019

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps made a statement today, regarding the Oakervee Review Terms of Reference into HS2. The statement sets out the scope of the review, members of the review team, timings, with a final report due in the autumn. 

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, responded: “The Government is right to evaluate major investment projects through mechanisms such as the Oakervee Review, and the Railway Industry Association welcomes the fact that the review will be completed quickly to remove damaging uncertainty and allow a notice to proceed in December. However, we should put  the HS2 scheme into perspective and remember all the benefits it brings.

"The review will show that spend on the project will be about £10 billion per year over the next three year period, out of some £2,500 billion of public spending projected in that time. That is 0.4% of annual public spending. Meanwhile, its economic benefits far outweigh the costs, with more than £90 billion in GDP growth per year generated across the country, 9,000 jobs already involved with the scheme, and at peak construction 30,000 jobs supported.

“The review will also show that HS2 will significantly increase capacity on the 'classic' rail network, particularly the West Coast and East Coast Main Line routes, meaning it will help 22 more towns and cities benefit from freed up capacity and eight out of 10 of Britain’s largest cities and regions will be better linked.

“So HS2 provides clear economic and regeneration benefits to the whole country, with the great cities of the Midlands and the north in particular making it clear they are united in their support for the project as the catalyst for their renaissance. RIA and our members trust the Oakervee Review team will produce a report which will ultimately support HS2, and ensure the UK gets the world-class rail infrastructure and additional capacity it needs in the years ahead.”

Notes to Editors

  1. About the Oakervee Review Terms of Reference – see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hs2-independent-review-terms-of-reference/terms-of-reference-for-the-independent-review-of-hs2 
  2. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. We promote and represent our members’ interests to policy makers, clients and other stakeholders in the UK and overseas. RIA has 240+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double over the next 25 years and freight set to grow significantly too. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry.

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